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Heavy current at Amurskaya ship sinking area impedes divers work

November 07, 2012, 12:01 UTC+3

Divers will conduct several diving operations in order to examine in more detail of the Amurskaya dry-cargo vessel

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MOSCOW, November 7 (Itar-Tass) — Divers will conduct several diving operations in order to examine in more detail of the Amurskaya dry-cargo vessel that has been found at the bottom of the Sea of Okhotsk and its holds, the press service of the Far Eastern regional department of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) told Itar-Tass.

"At 09:37 MSK today the divers who conducted the search operation from the Rubin rescue ship and examined an underwater object established that it is the Amurskaya freighter. The divers from the Rubin vessel are to make several more dives by the end of the day for a more detailed examination of the vessel and its holds," the source said.

However, he said, the search operations are impeded by the heavy current in the area.

Earlier, an An-26 plane with rescuers on board conducted aerial surveillance of the area of the search for the missing ship.

Since the beginning of the search operation, the Be-200 plane of the Russian Emergencies Ministry and the An-26 plane of Khabarovsk Airlines have examined an area of ·· about 20 square kilometres, marine vessels surveyed 350 square kilometres of the sea, and the ground search parties -- more than 160 kilometres of the coastline.

Meanwhile, operational headquarters continue to work in the Far Eastern regional EMERCOM centre and the EMERCOM main department for the Khabarovsk Territory in order to collection and process the relevant information. The Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk maritime rescue coordination centre supervises the search operations.

A total of about 45 people, and four machinery units are involved in the search operations.

The Amurskaya vessel on October 28 left the Kiran sea terminal in the Tuguro-Chumikansky district of the Khabarovsk Territory with a crew of nine members. According to investigators, the ship was carrying 700-750 tonnes of gold-bearing ore, although its maximum capacity was 611 tonnes. Experts believe that the cargo could be displaced because the ship was rolling baldy in the storm conditions, which led to her instant capsizing and sinking. The Amurskaya radio beacon transmitted a distress signal.

The motor ship is registered at the port of Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, the vessel was built in 1973.

Director General of the Nikolayevsk-on-Amur Seaport JSC Alexander Shiltsin has been charged with violation of the rules of safety of navigation and operation of maritime transport, resulting in the death of two or more persons. “He knew for certain that the loading of raw materials on the dry-cargo ship was carried out in violation of the rules of transportation of dangerous cargoes,” and that “because of the bad weather conditions the ship cannot sail,” but the head of the port “personally gave instructions to the ship’s crew to sail in the Sea of Okhotsk,” the regional Investigation Department said.


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